The latest medical research on General Practice (Family Medicine)

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general practice (family medicine) gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Multimorbidity through the lens of life-limiting illness: how helpful are Australian clinical practice guidelines to its management in primary care?

Australian Journal of Primary Health

This study assessed Australian clinical practice guidelines for life-limiting index conditions for the extent to which they acknowledged comorbidit...

Health education services utilization and its determinants among migrants: a cross-sectional study in urban-rural fringe areas of Beijing, China.

BMC Family Practice

Domestic migration poses a challenge for China as migrants have little access to preventive healthcare services and are vulnerable to certain risks and diseases. This research sought to unveil and explore the determinant factors associated with health education utilization as a key aspect in basic public health services for migrants in Beijing, China.

A sample of 863 inter-provincial migrants, 18 years old and above, was selected by three-stage stratified cluster sampling method in urban-rural fringe areas of Beijing during 2016 to 2017. Face-to-face structured interviews were conducted in the questionnaire survey. The effects of the explanatory variables on health education utilization from predisposing, enabling, health behaviors and need variables were used to demonstrate by Anderson health service utilization model.

The study revealed that 61.6% migrants desired to receive health education, while only 53.8% of them received in the past year. There were differences in the utilization and needs of health education among the migrants in different ages and genders. Many migrants desired to gain access to various types of health education information from the internet. Chi-square independence test lists such major determinant factors in migrants whole health education as age, "Hukou" registration system, marital status, education level, long-term residence plan in Beijing, one or more children in Beijing, employment status, housing source, average daily working time, exercises, health knowledge, smoking, self-rated health. The binary logistic regression indicates that the migrants with younger age, high education level, one or more children in Beijing, exercises and good self-rated health were more likely to receive whole health education. The results also show that average daily working time of enabling variables and exercise of health behavior variables were the strong and consistent determinants of three types of health education utilization, including communicable, non-communicable and occupational diseases.

Gaps exist between the needs and utilization in health education and more attention should be given to the migrants with heavy workload and low education level. Feasible policies and measures, such as multiple health information channels, should be vigorously implemented to ensure equitable and easy access to health education for migrants.

Prepared and highly committed despite the risk of COVID-19 infection: a cross-sectional survey of primary care physicians' concerns and coping strategies in Singapore.

BMC Family Practice

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are first points-of-contact between suspected cases and the healthcare system in the current COVID-19 pandemic. This study examines PCPs' concerns, impact on personal lives and work, and level of pandemic preparedness in the context of COVID-19 in Singapore. We also examine factors and coping strategies that PCPs have used to manage stress during the outbreak.

Two hundred and sixteen PCPs actively practicing in either a public or private clinic were cluster sampled via email invitation from three primary care organizations in Singapore from 6th to 29th March 2020. Participants completed a cross-sectional online questionnaire consisting of items on work- and non-work-related concerns, impact on personal and work life, perceived pandemic preparedness, stress-reduction factors, and personal coping strategies related to COVID-19.

A total of 158 questionnaires were usable for analyses. PCPs perceived themselves to be at high risk of COVID-19 infection (89.9%), and a source of risk (74.7%) and concern (71.5%) to loved ones. PCPs reported acceptance of these risks (91.1%) and the need to care for COVID-19 patients (85.4%). Overall perceived pandemic preparedness was extremely high (75.9 to 89.9%). PCPs prioritized availability of personal protective equipment, strict infection prevention guidelines, accessible information about COVID-19, and well-being of their colleagues and family as the most effective stress management factors.

PCPs continue to serve willingly on the frontlines of this pandemic despite the high perception of risk to themselves and loved ones. Healthcare organizations should continue to support PCPs by managing both their psychosocial (e.g. stress management) and professional (e.g. pandemic preparedness) needs.

Advancing Research Methods for Common Problems in Family Medicine and Family Medicine Practice Management.

J Am Board

Several research groups from multiple institutions provide structure and methods to improve research for family medicine. Colon cancer research inc...

The Essential Role of Family Physicians in Providing Cesarean Sections in Rural Communities.

J Am Board

Of family physicians who perform cesarean sections, more than half do so in rural communities and 38.6% provide cesarean sections in counties witho...

Improving the Reporting of Primary Care Research: An International Survey of Researchers.

J Am Board

To assess opportunities to improve reporting of primary care (PC) research to better meet the needs of its varied users.

International, interprofessional online survey of PC researchers and users, 2018 to 2019. Respondents used Likert scales to rate frequency of difficulties in interpreting, synthesizing, and applying PC research reports. Free-text short answers were categorized by template analysis to record experiences, concerns, and suggestions. Areas of need were checked across existing reporting guidelines.

Survey yielded 255 respondents across 24 nations, including 138 women (54.1%), 169 physicians (60%), 32 scientists (11%), 20 educators (7%), and 18 public health professionals (6%). Overall, 37.4% indicated difficulties using PC research reports "50% or more of the time." The most common problems were synthesizing findings (58%) and assessing generalizability (42%). Difficulty was reported by 49% for qualitative, 46% for mixed methods, and 38% for observational research. Most users wanted richer reporting of theoretical foundation (53.7%); teams, roles, and organization of care (53.4%); and patient involvement in the research process (52.7%). Few reported difficulties with ethics or disclosure of funding or conflicts. Free-text answers described special challenges in reporting PC research: context of clinical care and setting; practical details of interventions; patient-clinician and team relationships; and generalizability, applicability and impact in the great variety of PC settings. Cross-check showed that few current reporting guidelines focus on these needs.

Opportunities exist to improve the reporting of PC research to make it more useful for its many users, suggesting a role for a PC research reporting guideline.

Advancing the Patient EXperience (APEX) in COPD Registry: Study Design and Strengths.

J Am Board

The Advancing the Patient Experience (APEX) in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) registry ( is the first prima...

A Taxonomy for External Support for Practice Transformation.

J Am Board

There is no commonly accepted comprehensive framework for describing the practical specifics of external support for practice change. Our goal was to develop such a taxonomy that could be used by both external groups or researchers and health care leaders.

The leaders of 8 grants from Agency for Research and Quality for the EvidenceNOW study of improving cardiovascular preventive services in over 1500 primary care practices nationwide worked collaboratively over 18 months to develop descriptions of key domains that might comprehensively characterize any external support intervention. Combining literature reviews with our practical experiences in this initiative and past work, we aimed to define these domains and recommend measures for them.

The taxonomy includes 1 domain to specify the conceptual model(s) on which an intervention is built and another to specify the types of support strategies used. Another 5 domains provide specifics about the dose/mode of that support, the types of change process and care process changes that are encouraged, and the degree to which the strategies are prescriptive and standardized. A model was created to illustrate how the domains fit together and how they would respond to practice needs and reactions.

This taxonomy and its use in more consistently documenting and characterizing external support interventions should facilitate communication and synergies between 3 areas (quality improvement, practice change research, and implementation science) that have historically tended to work independently. The taxonomy was designed to be as useful for practices or health systems managing change as it is for research.

Engagement of Small to Medium-Sized Primary Care Practices in Quality Improvement Efforts.

J Am Board

Engaging primary care practices in quality improvement (QI) efforts has been challenging. Literature provides little guidance on the engagement of small to medium-sized practices in QI. This study examined the association between practice readiness and practice characteristics and engagement during a targeted QI effort.

The study analyzed cross-sectional data collected by the Heart of Virginia Health care, a cardiovascular disease QI intervention study with 195 practices. Data sources include 1) coach-assessed practice engagement in 7 domains (outcome), 2) surveys of readiness completed by 2529 clinicians and staff, a response rate of 86%, and 3) surveys of practice characteristics completed by a physician leader or practice manager. We used descriptive statistics and ordered logit regression for the analysis.

Associations between readiness and engagement were statistically significant for clinician engagement (odds ratio [OR] = 5,74; 95% CI, 1.79-18.42; P = .003) and leadership engagement (OR = 3.19; 95% CI, 1.10-9.24; P = .032). Adjusting for covariates, being a hospital-owned practice was associated with a lower level of clinician engagement (OR = 0.35; 95% CI, 0.16-0.76; P = .009) relative to independent practices.

Clinicians and leadership involvement in QI efforts is critical. The findings suggest that QI plans should involve clinicians and leaders early in the process to foster commitment, establish practice readiness, and sustain improvement efforts.

Electronic Health Record Algorithm Development for Research Subject Recruitment Using Colonoscopy Appointment Scheduling.

J Am Board

Electronic health records (EHRs) are often leveraged in medical research to recruit study participants efficiently. The purpose of this study was to validate and refine the logic of an EHR algorithm for identifying potentially eligible participants for a comparative effectiveness study of fecal immunochemical tests (FITs), using colonoscopy as the standard.

An Epic report was built to identify patients who met the eligibility criteria to recruit patients having a screening or surveillance colonoscopy. With the goal of maximizing the number of potentially eligible patients that could be recruited, researchers, with the assistance of information technology and scheduling staff, developed the algorithm for identifying potential subjects in the EHR. Two validation methods, descriptive statistics and manual verification, were used.

The algorithm was refined over 3 iterations leading to the following criteria being used for generating the report: Age, Appointment Made On/Cancel Date, Appointment Procedure, Contact Type, Date Range, Encounter Departments, ICD-10 codes, and Patient Type. Appointment Serial Number/Contact Serial Number were output fields that allowed the tracking of cancellations and reschedules.

Development of an EHR algorithm saved time in that most individuals ineligible for the study were excluded before patient medical record review. Running daily reports that included cancellations and rescheduled appointments allowed for maximum recruitment in a time frame appropriate for the use of the FITs. This algorithm demonstrates that refining the algorithm iteratively and adding cancellations and reschedules of colonoscopies increased the accuracy of reaching all potential patients for recruitment.

Barriers to Follow-Up Colonoscopy After Positive FIT or Multitarget Stool DNA Testing.

J Am Board

Fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) and multi-target stool DNA testing (mt-sDNA) are recommended colorectal cancer screening options but require follow-up with colonoscopy to determine the source of a positive result. We performed a retrospective analysis in an academic health system to determine adherence to colonoscopy in these patients.

We identified all patients aged 40 years and older with at least 1 primary care visit who had a positive FIT or mt-sDNA between January 2016 and June 2018. We identified receipt of colonoscopy within 6 months of the positive test and reviewed medical records to determine reasons for lack of colonoscopy.

We identified 308 eligible patients with positive FIT and 323 with positive mt-sDNA. Some patients with positive FIT (46.7%) and patients with positive mt-sDNA (71.5%) underwent colonoscopy within 6 months, and time to colonoscopy was also shorter with mt-sDNA (hazard ratio, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.48-2.25). These differences remained in a multivariable model adjusting for patient characteristics. Among patients without colonoscopy after positive FIT, 1 or more system, provider, and patient-related barriers were identified in 32.1%, 57.6%, and 36.3%, respectively. Among patients without colonoscopy after positive mt-sDNA, corresponding frequencies were 30.4%, 43.5%, and 57.6%, respectively.

Follow-up colonoscopy was higher for mt-sDNA than FIT, which could be due in part to preselection by clinicians and/or patients. Among patients who did not follow-up, provider and system factors were as frequently encountered as patient factors. These findings reinforce the need for multi-level interventions to improve follow-up.

Do Medical Scribes Help Primary Care Providers Respond More Quickly to Out-of-Visit Tasks?

J Am Board

Medical scribes are charged with decreasing documentation burden associated with patient visits. Reducing time spent on documentation may afford providers the opportunity to respond to out-of-visit inbox tasks faster.

We compare changes in the time taken to address patient portal messages, prescription requests, and test results from before to after scribe implementation among scribed primary care providers (PCPs), compared with nonscribed PCPs during the same time period. We used generalized estimating equations with robust standard errors to account for repeated measures and the hierarchical nature of the data, and adjusted for provider and patient characteristics.

We examined 472,411 tasks, including 27,645 tasks for 5 scribed PCPs and 444,766 tasks of 74 nonscribed PCPs. In unadjusted analyses, we found no change in time to completion for prescription refill requests, results and patient portal messages; the change in time to completion from pre to post intervention among scribed PCPs was 1.02 times that of nonscribed providers (P = .585) for prescription refill requests, 1.06 times that of nonscribed providers (P = .516) for patient portal messages, and 1.02 times that of nonscribed providers (P = .787) for results. Adjustment for provider and patient characteristics did not change these findings.

Our study suggests that scribes are not associated with improved time to completion of inbox messages for PCPs. While scribes seem to have many benefits, our study suggests they may not improve time to completion of out-of-visit tasks. Reducing the time to completion for these tasks likely requires other interventions targeted to achieve those outcomes.